“We’ve been in this band for a long time, we really are family,” said Dave Grohl during the Foo Fighters’ main event at Boston Calling. “And our families are with us tonight, because we need to do this together.”
Grohl was speaking right before playing a solo performance of “Cold Day in the Sun,” a song he sang with the late Taylor Hawkins. On Wednesday earlier in the week, he dusted off the track for the first time in five years, giving an emotional performance during the Foo Fighters warm-up show in Guilford, New Hampshire. “I tried to do it last night, and I will try to do it again,” Grohl said Friday (May 26). “And I’m going to do it for Taylor’s family, and I’m going to do it for Taylor.”
While he was able to get through it this time without choking, the emotional feelings were no less strong. It became even more poignant because immediately afterward, Grohl welcomed “one of my favorite drummers in the world,” Hawkins’ son, Shane. The teenage drummer showed off his chops during tribute shows to his father, but as poignant as those performances were, there was something uniquely underscoring Shane’s appearance at Boston Calling.
He joined the band for “I’ll Stick Around”, one of the songs he played during the L.A. Hawkins tribute. After spending some time adjusting the Foo Fighters’ new kit drummer Josh Freese (“Oh my God, there’s a Shine curfew!” Grohl joked as he cringed at missing The National and hearing Niall Horan’s “crowd go absolutely crazy”) , criticized the song, even cutting Grohl’s introduction. Young Hawkins banged heads and made faces as if he was eating notes, and hummed drums like a seasoned pro.
It wouldn’t be surprising if there was another Hawkins in the Foo Fighters permanent lineup in a few years. Which is why his performance was so encouraging – more than playing in memory of his father, he played as if he was making a name for himself. It’s hard not to be in your parents’ shadow when they’re as famous and beloved as Taylor Hawkins, but Shane has proven he can stand out on his own.
And he wasn’t the only young member of the family to join Foo Fighters’ big festival “comeback” appearance: Violet Grohl, Dave’s soft-voiced daughter, was also in attendance. She is introduced before a performance of “A Cold Day in the Sun”, echoing her father’s “Shame of Shame” and then sitting on the upbeat drum of “Rope”. The elder Grohl is known as one of the most energetic and charismatic people in music; Teenage Grohl didn’t try to match his energy, but just showed it off with vocals.